Tag Archives: Newlyweds

Interview with Equally Shared Parenting Authors Amy and Marc Vachon

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m thrilled to share a special Q&A interview with my friends Marc and Amy Vachon whose book, Equally SharedParenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents just came out last month. Listen in to our conversation here and then check out their book and the additional resources on my Remodeling Motherhood Tools page!

~ Kristin

Amy Vachon, Kristin Maschka, Marc Vachon in MA

What were the hardest assumptions of your own that each of you had to overcome to make ESP work? And can you each share your most memorable example of a time when your ESP arrangement challenged someone ELSE’s stereotypes about mothers and fathers?

Marc: Early in my career, I presumed that it was my responsibility to maximize my earning power to support a family someday. This led to the standard male prescriptive to forge ahead with long hours and an unbalanced dedication toward work. Letting that assumption go took courage (especially since I didn’t have role models to follow as I approached my boss with a request to work part-time – as a single guy). But it allowed me to create a life that I love daily. My work focus changed from wanting to retire early to wanting to work forever.

Amy: The most difficult assumption I had to shake was probably the notion that I had more responsibility for the home and the children. I still catch myself stressing out about little projects or an upcoming dinner party, and have to remember that these tasks can be jointly planned and handled – as long as I let Marc work alongside me as a true peer.

Both: We can think of two separate examples that highlight how others’ stereotypes can rub up against the notion of an equal partnership. In the first, Amy was picking up our daughter from Kindergarten in the school playground when our then 2-year old son threw a temper tantrum and stomped off a few yards away. A random mother was heard commenting snidely, “Who is that kid’s mother?” Yet a couple of months prior, Marc was handling the same pickup, in the same playground, with the same 2-year old throwing a tantrum (what can we say – a 2:20 pickup time doesn’t always mesh with a toddler’s nap schedule!). This time, a random mom approached Marc to ask if she could intervene to calm our son down. She explained that she was “very good at these types of things.”

The second example happened when our daughter was about 2, and fell off a swing at a friend’s birthday party. She ran right past Amy, all the way across the yard into Marc’s arms for comfort. The other parents at the party were too polite to say anything, but we often wonder if they thought Amy had failed as the “mother” in that moment. Amy felt a twinge of self-consciousness, but we both mark that event as one of those times when we could say, “We did it – we gave her two parents she could go to and this is cause for celebration!” Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Family Work, Fatherhood, Interview, Marriage, Motherhood

Remodeling Marriage: Our “Next Wedding”

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Like this one of our family. We were dressed to the nines for a special occasion, and I wanted to get the perfect family photo, but our daughter was so excited we couldn’t get her to stand still. When she paused her frenetic movement for a moment, we thought we’d gotten that perfect photo. Until we actually saw the photo later – my husband and I are smiling at the camera and then you scan down the photo to see our Kate – making a face and sticking her tongue out at the camera.

I was annoyed at first. Then I realized the picture was perfect; the photo was the perfect image for the occasion.

You see the special occasion that had us all dressed up was our “next wedding.” Continue reading

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Filed under Fatherhood, Marriage, Motherhood

Having a Baby? Prepare Your Marriage for Parenting

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Check out this interview with me from About.com!

You’re about to become parents for the first time, and you are still newlyweds. “Marriage changes in ways that are unexpected for people,” says Kristin Maschka, author of This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today (Berkley Trade, October 2009). “We went from basking in the glow to shouting at each other in the kitchen.” The hard times after a baby is born are a dirty secret. But preparing for the challenges can help you welcome your baby without ruining your marriage. Here, Maschka’s tips for keeping your marriage intact when you become parents for the first time

Give yourself state of the union check ups regularly.

Choose a time – say dinner or first thing in the morning before work – to discuss anything that is on your mind about your schedule, the relationship, or problems you might be having. Make these discussions a normal part of your routine, so when the baby comes along, you already have an established time to vent or express whatever it is that is bothering you or needs improvement. Maschka warns against letting your frustrations build, which will likely cause a blow out of an argument.

Continue Reading >>

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Filed under Articles, Kids & School, Marriage, Newlyweds, Pregnancy